Francis's Shaft


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Contact info
Jašek Frančiške
Bazoviška ulica 2, SI-5280 Idrija
Phone386 (0) 5 372 6600
Fax386 (0) 5 377 3580
Founded byIdrija Municipal Museum
Managed byCUDHg Idrija

Francis's Shaft (also Franz's Shaft) is named after Roman-German Emperor Franz Joseph the Second (1792–1806) and was sinked as large transport shaft in year 1792 in the times of great prosperity for Idrija Mercury Mine. Francis's Shaft is the Idrija Municipal Museum's dislocated technical department, which presents old driving and mining machines. When moved out of service, many of these used to stand in the central yard of Idrija's Gewerkenegg Castle, the site of today's Idrija Municipal Museum, where they were exposed to poor weather conditions.

Because of the technical heritage it contained, Francis's Shaft, and the operations building above it, were converted into a museum for old machines, where the machines are now preserved in better conditions. In the lower two exhibition spaces 14 machines are set up, including steam, diesel, and battery driven ones. They reveal the best of what the Austrian, Bohemian, and Italian brands could provide in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An exceptional specimen of technical heritage is Kley's pump, a steam piston machine made in the Bohemian Škoda-Pilsen Works in 1893, which is the biggest preserved steam machine in Slovenia and probably in Europe. Kley's pump pumped water out of the shafts for more than 50 years, until 1948. In 2009 it was extensively maintained, renovated, and re-opened to the public.

On the first floor of the Francis's Shaft building there are machines from mechanical workshops as well as forging, shaping and drilling machines from different manufacturers.

See also

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